Monday, June 28, 2010
Don't be a Donor-cyclist!
What's a "donor-cyclist"? Anyone who rides a bike- motorcycle or 10-speed- WITHOUT a helmet. Everyone in medicine, especially ER staff, all refer to these as "donor-cycles" because without a helmet to protect their heads, these folks become organ donors after major accidents. Last week, there were two serious auto-bicycle accidents in my Austin neighborhood. Yesterday, while driving in Houston, I saw a man sprawled on the ground in front of a car, his motorcycle tossed to the side (and ambulance fast-approaching.) The most recent statistics (from 2008) showed that there were over 52,000 traffic accidents involving pedaling cyclists, and 716 deaths. Add motorized bikes and the numbers skyrocket.
I am not writing to discourage people from riding- quite the contrary. I simply want to reiterate that HELMETS save BRAINS and save LIVES. PLEASE WEAR THEM! Bikers- wear reflective or at least brightly colored shirts. Be aware that drivers have more distractions than ever as they zip down the road. If you are driving, put away that cell phone and watch out for our fellow travelers on two wheels. They can easily slip in and out of our blind spots, especially at dawn and dusk.
BOTTOM LINE: If you're riding on two wheels, make sure a helmet is protecting your head!